Feb 29, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Dance, M.F.A.

This 60-unit plan of study emphasizes choreographic exploration and production, as well as preparation for teaching careers in higher education. MFA candidates engage in theoretical and practice-based study in preparation for creating a choreographic thesis project produced on the CSULB campus.

The Department of Dance has chosen to keep the MFA degree program small and selective in order to provide adequate resources and teaching opportunities to all students in the degree plan. The Department seeks candidates with a body of choreographic work and a minimum of 3-5 years of experience in the field beyond baccalaureate study. Choreographers of any genre of dance practice are encouraged to apply.

Program Learning Outcomes

Program graduates will have the ability to:

  1. Craft dances that communicate a declared intention; skills include actualizing concepts, directing and collaborating with performers and contributors, processing feedback, implementing revisions, and ethically/critically considering the role of the work in the contemporary climate.
  2. Produce their own danceworks; students will demonstrate a working knowledge of lighting design, costume design, stage management, technical direction, house management, and/or public relations. Additionally, students will be able to work in collaboration with theater technicians and design professionals.
  3. Articulate effectively in oral and written form their artistic and pedagogical goals/vision/philosophy, positioning them to work in higher education and/or the professional creative field. 
  4. Identify and characterize trends in the contemporary dance canon, and articulate and advocate for the role of their work within the field.
  5. Organize and communicate both practical and theoretical dance concepts in diverse pedagogical contexts, using knowledge gained via teaching practicum, internships, and the study of dance science.

Criteria for Admission into the Program

Candidates admitted into this program will be selected on the following criteria:

  1. Meet University admissions requirements;
  2. B.A., B.F.A., or M.A. degree in dance or equivalent with a 3.0 GPA in upper division dance courses;
  3. Professional goals consistent with the plan of study;
  4. Life experiences in the field;
  5. Audition in performance and choreography.

All MFA candidates are admitted on a conditional status

All MFA candidates are admitted on a conditional status. Removal of the conditional admit will occur after the following:

  1. Fulfillment of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR);
  2. Completion of all prerequisites;
  3. Completion of 20 graduate dance units with a GPA of 3.0;
  4. Approval of Graduate Advisor.


Intermediate or advanced technique in at least one movement practice and three courses in dance composition and/or improvisation  or substantial demonstrated training and experience in dance making. Undergraduate degree in dance or undergraduate degree in any field plus substantial training and experience in the field of dance. Undergraduate degree with a cumulative 2.5 GPA or higher.

Application Requirements

  1. A CSULB post-baccalaureate application via CSU Mentor (requires an official transcript and an application fee).
  2. The following returned to the CSULB Department of Dance (visit CSULB Department of Dance website for further explanation):
    1. Cover letter;
    2. Resume or curriculum vitae;
    3. 3 letters of reference;
    4. 2 choreographic works (at least one group work of 3 or more people) posted to Vimeo or YouTube and a 1-page statement that provides the following: a discussion of  the intent, process and goals for each work submitted, credits (titles, composers, and other production credits) and performers (including the candidate if performing);
    5. 3-page, double-spaced, statement of purpose addressing how professional goals will be met through  this plan of study. Within this statement, reflect upon your current artistic vision and where you would like to see expansion in your creative practice.
  3. Audition on the CSULB campus to include a warm-up, composition/improvisation session, presentation of a 3-5 minute self-choreographed solo demonstrating technical proficiency and choreographic skill, and an interview with Department faculty.

Advancement to Candidacy

Advancement to candidacy will occur based on the following:

  1. Unconditional admission status;
  2. Completion of 30 graduate dance units with a GPA of 3.0;
  3. Successful choreography produced in a graduate concert;
  4. Evaluation by graduate faculty of the candidate’s satisfactory progress toward the degree;
  5. Removal of any incomplete grades.

Performance/Choreography Concentration

Take 4 units from the following courses:

Take 12 units from the following courses:

Take 5 units from the following courses:

Take 6 units of the following course:

Take 6 units of additional coursework.